Billingsley advances to second round with win over Kinston

Published 1:01 am Saturday, November 8, 2014

Finding a hole: Billingsley’s Derrick Dunigan runs for yardage against Kinston on Friday.

Finding a hole: Billingsley’s Derrick Dunigan runs for yardage against Kinston on Friday.

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

With a 42-14 win over Kinston on Friday, Billingsley punched its ticket to the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs while denying the Bulldogs their second playoff win in school history, the last coming in 1987.

Derek Stoudemire gave the Bears (8-2) an early spark with a 57-yard return of the opening kickoff to set up the first Billingsley possession at Kinston’s 23-yard line. Four plays later, quarterback Thomas Nichols connected with Mason Friday for a 14-yard touchdown pass, and then Nichols found Dalton Davis for the two-point conversion for an early 8-0 lead.

Then the Bears’ run game put points on the scoreboard as Derrick Dunigan went in from one yard out to bring the score to 14-0.

A Stoudemire fumble recovery gave Billingsley another short field as their offense went to work once again from the Bulldogs’ side of midfield.

Dunnigan capped off the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run to put the Bears up 20-0 at the 11:45 mark of the second quarter.

A fourth down punt by the Bulldogs from their own 46 gave the Bears their worst starting field possession of the game thus far, starting from their own 25, but the long field did little to slow down the Bears as Nichols capped off the drive by connecting with Davis on a 30-yard touchdown pass.

With Nichols adding the two-point conversion, Billingsley led 28-0 with 5:53 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs mounted their most productive drive of the first half on their next possession as a 75-yard drive was finished with a seven-yard touchdown run by Dillin Odom.

With Austin Hataway adding the two-point conversion, Billingsley led 28-8 with 1:35 left in the second quarter.

The Bears added one more score before the end of the first half when Nichols connected with Davis once again, this time for a five-yard touchdown pass to give Billingsley a 34-8 halftime lead.

The Bears’ special teams contributed to start the second half as Jaytarius Steel fielded a Bulldogs’ punt at his own 35-yard line and took it all the way for the touchdown to put the Bears up 42-8.

With the Bears holding a comfortable lead and making deep substitutions, the game went quietly into the fourth quarter before the Bulldogs tacked on one last score as time expired to bring the game to its final score.

“The most important thing is that it is a first round win,” Billingsley coach Tyson McLean said. “We came out on top tonight. We are going to see what we can do to get ready for next week and maybe we can make a little run at this.”

Nichols went 10-of-16 through the air for 129 yards and three touchdowns while Dunigan added 121 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Davis led the Bears defense with eight tackles.

The Bears will travel to take on the Ellwood Christian Eagles (5-6) in Round 2 on Nov. 14.